Film has never seen a collaboration like that between Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, a fiercely intellectual husband-wife duo whose decades-spanning oeuvre aimed to spark a revolution among the masses. Hailed by critics, academics, and filmmakers alike, their entire filmography - encompassing films long-unavailable in the U.S. and many never before released - is now proudly presented by Grasshopper Film. (note: films not yet restored are listed in the 35mm rental section). --- SALE! Buy any 3 titles from this collection and get 1 free
On the northern shores of Lake Geneva where he has settled, Jean-Marie Straub brings to the water’s peaceful surface the history of a local resistance that shaped Switzerland’s post-war political landscape.
A powerful, almost surreal distillation of a story by Heinrich Böll, Straub-Huillet's debut work concerns a former Nazi colonel who takes advantage of his political and sexual status in post-war Germany.
Straub-Huillet's heralded feature debut eschews conventional form and storytelling to chart the origins and legacy of Nazism, as well as the moral demands of obedience and sacrifice within the German bourgeois family, in this vigorous adaptation of Heinrich Böll’s novel.
Using letters Anna Magdalena Bach wrote to her husband, Johann Sebastian, filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet created one of the most precise, rewarding biopics ever put to screen. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, this masterpiece has been immaculately restored.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder stars alongside his future collaborators — Hanna Scyhgulla, Irm Hermann, and Peer Raben — in this short, radical condensation of Ferdinand Bruckner’s 1926 play Pains of Youth that incorporates the screeds of Mao and May '68 protesters.
A faithful adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s Othon, the classic tragedy that premiered at the court of Louis XIV at Fontainebleau in 1664 and today is more hallowed than actually performed, Eyes do not want to close… depicts the power vacuum that followed Emperor Nero’s death.
This complex interpretation of Brecht’s unfinished novel The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar explores history as it has been written by the victors, with their hero worship of tyrannical leaders (whether Caesar or Hitler), and offers an alternate view of history writing as fractured and potentially revolutionary.
One of Straub-Huillet's major films, this adaptation of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera is a thrilling and rigorous consideration of Biblical and archaeological history; set almost entirely within a Roman amphitheater whose history lends every precise line-reading and gesture, every startling camera move and cut, a totalizing force.
An elegiac and damning meditation on abuses of power and historical amnesia, this film records communist critic Franco Fortini reading excerpts of his book The Dogs of Sinai, which condemns capitalism and the state of Israel in the aftermath of the Six Day War while reflecting on his own Jewish heritage.
Based on six mythological encounters in Cesar Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò, and on Pavese’s last novel, The Moon and the Bonfires, about the savage murders of Italian anti-Fascist resistance fighters during World War II, this film bridges history and myth, modernity and antiquity.
A major influence on contemporary filmmakers, consisting entirely of a sequence of landscape shots, Straub-Huillet's Too Early / Too Late reflects on Egypt’s history of peasant struggle and liberation from Western colonization, linking it to class tensions in France shortly before the Revolution of 1789.
Originally released on a double bill with Eric Rohmer’s Pauline at the Beach, a short about a precocious, determined nine-year-old boy, and a story concerning a rejection of all forms of authority, whether family, school, or nation.
Straub-Huillet's brilliant distillation of Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel Amerika is perhaps the author's most authentically German treatment, and an ecstatic, haunted fever dream of the United States.
Inspired by D. W. Griffith’s 1909 short film A Corner in Wheat, a Biblical tale of avarice, divine retribution, and the prolonged suffering of the masses, Straub-Huillet offer a dialectical montage of cause (capitalist greed) and effect (the poverty of the farmer and the urban underclass).
In Straub-Huillet’s mesmerizing adaptation of Hölderlin’s tragic poem, written during the outbreak of the French Revolution, Greek philosopher Empedocles — who possessed magical healing powers through his communion with the gods and nature — is at the point of death.
Empedocles debates Pausanias, his loyal disciple, about the divine powers of love and strife that govern all matter in this adaptation of the unfinished late-18th-century play by the German lyric poet Frederich Hölderlin.
Straub-Huillet use passages from Gasquet's invaluable memoir of Paul Cézanne, together with pastoral scenes from Renoir’s Madame Bovary and photographs of Cézanne by the painter Maurice Denis, to make a moving and profound personal essay.
The tragedy of Antigone loses none of its dramatic force across the centuries in this classic retelling by Straub-Huillet; its themes of bloodlust and blindness, wisdom and sacrifice, resonating ever more intensely after war and genocide.
Straub-Huillet draw upon a pair of novels by Maurice Barrès, a celebrated Alsatian author, extreme nationalist, and ardent anti-Dreyfusard, to tell tales of perfidy, humiliation, and resistance during the German occupation of Alsace-Lorraine between 1870 and 1918.
Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth, or a meal of bread, wine and winter melon, takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in Straub-Huillet's masterful tragicomedy about Sicilians who are poor of means but rich in spirit. “A passionate and wide-ranging masterwork by Straub and Huillet." (The New Yorker). New 20th anniversary digital restoration.
The story, which Italo Calvino called a “choral narrative,” centers on a group of workers and peasants, many of them ordinary laborers and farmers, who rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the Second World War by reconstructing a destroyed village and forming a utopian community.
Straub-Huillet take as their inspiration the 1949 novel Women of Messina by the Sicilian writer Elio Vittorini, whose courageous wartime work in the underground Communist resistance press led to his imprisonment by the Fascists.
At the end of filming Umiliati, Straub and Huillet gave thanks to the cast and crew in a graceful way: by inviting Dolando Bernardini to sing several stanzas from Torquato Tasso’s 16th-century epic poem Jerusalem Delivered.
Straub-Huillet's visit to the Louvre reflects their fierce sentiments on art and their way of looking, using the words of Paul Cézanne to critique images, to be venomous about some artists and honey-tongued about others.
On October 27, 2005, two teenage boys of Mauritanian and Tunisian origin were electrocuted as they fled the police. Their deaths sparked nearly three weeks of riots across France. Straub-Huillet document this tragedy in their final collaboration, an imaginative response to Rossellini's Europa ’51.
Straub films Coton Island, home of Jean Bricard and site of Nazi atrocities, against a stark and leaden winter light, using deliberatively long tracking shots and nearly still compositions to evoke a kind of enduring resilience.
In darkness, we hear a recording of the scandalous 1954 debut performance of Edgar Varèse’s revolutionary Déserts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Then, in a different sort of Elysian Field, we hear a recitation of Canto XXXIII from The Inferno.
In the sun-dappled Tuscan countryside, the boar hunter Meleager, having been murdered by his own mother to avenge the tragic accidental killing of his brother, engages in conversation about fragility, resistance, and love with Hermes, who has taken female form.
Straub’s testament of love was made seven years after the 2006 death of his partner and collaborator Danièle Huillet, and nearly 60 years after they met in Paris and planned to adapt this short story by Georges Bernanos, author of Diary of a Country Priest and Mouchette.
Six scenes concerning resistance to “forms of domination and violence of man on man,” including Communist prisoners who face down their Fascist interrogators during World War II and Egyptian workers and peasants who revolt against their colonial exploiters in 1919.
As a young man, Straub fled to West Germany after refusing to fight for France in the Algerian War. Later in his life, he returned to this bitter historical experience with this terse noir about “the instinct to heal” and to murder.
In his newest work, Straub considers Malraux's writings while creating a cosmic interplay between Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Our Savior, a fish tank at a Parisian Chinese restaurant, Renoir’s 1938 film La Marseillaise, and the Jung Institute of Paris.
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